Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Daughter the Word Nerd


Scene 1

Our home, dinner time. Lindsey is helping me make enchiladas for dinner. A Rob Thomas song comes on over the radio.

Lindsey: This song drives me crazy!

Me: Why?

Lindsey: Because! He says that he will share a secret that no one knows. Well, if no one knows it, then HE doesn't even know it, so how can he share it? It's a secret that no one ELSE knows.

Me: That's pretty smart. I hadn't thought of that.

Scene 2

Our home, the next morning. Family is gathered in the kitchen, this time backpacks are in the midst of being packed and hats, gloves and coats are being donned.

Me: I'm so excited, I get to wear my winter hat that my friend knitted for me today.

Lindsey: Your friend knitted it today?

Me: Well no, but I get to wear it today. She knitted it for me some time ago.

Lindsey: Well then, you should say you get to wear it today, not that she knitted it for you today.

Me: Okay, word nerd, let's get going.

Lindsey: [Giggles]


End Scene.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Naughty Turkeys

Lindsey: Mom, in school I learned that only the male turkeys gobble.

Mom: Is that right?

Lindsey: They gobble to get the female's attention, and if the females are interested they cluck back.

Mom: Oh, that's interesting.

Lindsey: My poor friend, she was gobbled at.


Mom: What?

Lindsey: In class. This boy looked right at her and said, "Gobble gobble."

Mom: So...did she cluck back?

Lindsey: No.

Mom: Well good for her, she should play hard to get.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Late Tooth

Until recently, it has been over a year since Marissa lost a tooth.

While her friends all have 6 or 8 permanent teeth, she just had the four bottom ones, with baby teeth all across the top. 

I wasn't worried -- she had been to the dentist, they said that some kids just lose them a little late. And if you believe that late teethers as babies are late in getting their adult teeth, then she's right on time.

Finally, her front top tooth began to get loose. And looser. And looser. She couldn't say a full sentence without her tongue stopping to wiggle it once or twice. If she was drawing, or reading, or playing, she was wiggling that tooth.

I swore it was going to fall out on Sunday. Then Monday. And finally Tuesday, when I picked her up from school, she ran up to me and showed me a hole where her tooth had been. Except her tongue was still sticking suspiciously halfway out of her mouth.

Sure enough, her tooth was loose enough for her to be able to pull it nearly all the way back without it coming out, so it appeared to be gone, but wasn't. She thought that was hilarious to play that joke.

But Tuesday evening, the four of us were around the dining room table after dinner. I was helping Lindsey with homework, Wayne was helping Marissa. Suddenly Marissa says, "Oh! My tooth fell out!"

And sure enough, while she'd just be standing there, not doing anything but writing, it fell onto her paper.

She ran to get her tooth box, which she'd been carrying back and forth to school for several days, and plunked the tooth in it, but not before showing everyone in the family a few times.

Then she whispered, "Mommy, I know you're the tooth fairy, so just leave the tooth when you give me a dollar, okay? I want to take it back to school tomorrow to show my friends."

Okay, honey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Girls on the Run Is So Much Fun!

This past Saturday was the culmination of Lindsey's last 10 weeks of training with Girls on the Run. The Twin Cities chapter is growing, and this time they had enough participants across all the Minneapolis schools to hold their own 5k, instead of having to register for someone else's.

Girls on the Run is about so much more than just running. The organization uses running as a tool to teach girls about self-confidence, positive self-talk and standing up to bullies. They met twice a week for 10 weeks, not just to run but also to come together as a team and reinforce these messages with each other.

Lindsey first participated in Girls on the Run this past spring, when they had their inaugural team at her school. I noticed that her self-confidence got a big boost, and she seemed less unsure of herself in new situations.

We arrived a bit late after some confusion as to where on Lake Phalen the group would be starting out from. But we made it in time for Lindsey and her friend Ava to get some silly hair. We went through some warm-ups and then they gave out "energy awards," meaning that they recognized various people for their work to organize the event and support it. The energy awards were fun and silly, things like the "hamburger award," where you do a cheer about something being "well done."

Lindsey's friend Ava, her mother, Lindsey and I started the run out together, with Lindsey and Ava constantly yelling back to us to "hurry it up." We kept telling them to just go on ahead, even though a parent is supposed to be a "running buddy." It was clear neither Jennifer or I were going to be able to keep up at the pace those two were going.

She and I kept our eye out for the two girls as they kept getting farther and farther away from us. Finally by 1.5 miles in we couldn't see them anymore. Nice running buddies, right?

We (meaning us moms) had a great run, a first for her and the fastest for me, and had both Lindsey and Ava cheering for us near the finish line. Lindsey had completed the run in 29 minutes and 31 seconds, and was the 2nd girl to cross the finish line. Jennifer and I, on the other hand, finished a full four minutes after our girls.

We watched and cheered for other runners who was coming up to the finish, then gathered our things and got ready to go. Lindsey said good-bye to her coaches,as their time together was done. As a parent you don't always realize the impact that others have on your child's life. She clearly bonded with these ladies and was sad to say good-bye, but hoping to see them in the spring.

Then Ava, Jennifer, Lindsey and I all went out to Perkin's for brunch, which was utterly enjoyable and fun to see the two girls entertain each other over pancakes and eggs.

Lindsey and I had so much fun that we signed up for the Reindeer Run on December 1. This time I plan on trying to keep up with that little peanut.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On My Wish List: Healthy Babies

Lindsey and I at Breezy Point Resort, 2004.
My babies aren't really babies anymore.

I am at that strange place in parenthood where my kids are young enough that they need lots of guidance and parenting while they are still at the age when they'll listen, but we are beyond babyhood and toddlerhood by several years. The world of diapers and bottles seem like they are so far behind me that it's almost a foreign concept.

Many years ago I was hobnobbing with some direct marketing associates from New York. One of the women, a dear, wonderful lady in her 60's, remembered her labor story like it happened yesterday. Well, she remembers what she could of it, considering she had been at a New Year's Eve party and was incredibly drunk.

She got nauseous and began throwing up around 11:30 pm. She knew she'd been drinking a bit much but hadn't realized how much. Her husband was bummed that they had to miss the big New Year's countdown, but understood and took her home.

Once they arrived home the nausea got worse and worse, and around 1 a.m. she finally realized she was in labor.

They rushed to the hospital and within hours she had her baby. Her first.

Today, we can't imagine the scenario. What we've learned about the impact of alcohol during pregnancy is enough to scare pregnant women sober. My obstetrician had a "zero tolerance" policy during pregnancy. She told me flat out "If you think you need to have even a single drink while you're pregnant, I'm not your doctor. Go find someone else."

Marissa and I in 2005. She was a happy baby, honest!
From the negative impact of smoking and alcohol to the positive effects of Vitamin B and prenatal vitamins, we've learned a lot over the years about what it takes to have healthy babies.

But there's more to learn, and the March of Dimes is on the leading edge of research to find out what we need to know to ensure that every pregnancy ends with a healthy baby being brought into this world.

There's a new message that the March of Dimes wants pregnant women to hear. But I've decided to share that message on my friend's blog. So hop on over to Marketing Mama for the latest discovery that March of Dimes needs pregnant women to know.

P.S. If you don't already follow Missy's awesome blog, you need to. She is an amazing single parent to two beautiful kids, one of whom has life-threatening food allergies. She's also an incredible healthcare marketer by day. What doesn't this woman do? Oh that's right, organize blogger conferences in her "spare time." A serious overachiever if ever I met one. You can like her page on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter. (@Marketingmama)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A French Connection

Marissa has two new classmates in her grade this year, twin girls who are from France. Their family is here as a part of a house swap. They are staying in a home in Minneapolis for one year, while the owner of that home is staying in their home in Leon, France.

On the first day of school, Marissa connected with Camille as if they were long lost sisters who had been born to different families on different continents. By the class picnic two weeks into the school year it was as if they had known each other their entire lives.

Marissa was invited to Camille's birthday party last weekend, and they had a fabulous time.

On the roller coaster ride at Chuck E Cheese.

Marissa reads her homemade card to Cami.

The best part about this friendship is that Marissa is learning French. But of course she is learning the French words that a 2nd grader would be interested in.

I was surprised when she came home from school one day and said, "Bon jour!"

Then another time she asked me, "Comment Allez vous?" and informed me that the correct answer was "Bon."

She let me know that they call their mom "Maman" and their dad "Papa."

And then the fourth time she informed me that the word for "poop" in French was "ka ka," and that they call pee "pi pi."

And finally, this past week she let me know that "J'ai pépé" means "I farted."

I am so glad that if I ever get back to France I will be able to tell people all about my bodily functions. Now if only I could figure out how to ask where the bathroom was, I could take care of all that.